(1)   Conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying
(2)   The belief in magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world


From , + .


  1. Divination involving the dead or death.


  • 1597 King James Daemonologie
    And for to make this treatise the more pleasaunt and facill, I have put it in forme of a Dialogue, which I have diuided into three bookes: The first speaking of Magie in general, and Necromancie in special.

  • 1652 Gaule The Magastromancer
    And in one word for all, Nagomancy, or Necromancy; by inspecting, consulting, and divining by, with, or from the dead.

  • 1867 E. Rogers, quoted in K. Thomas Relig. & Decline of Magic
    the Devil did often tempt me to study necromancy and nigromancy and to make use of magic, and to make a league with him...

  • 1920 L. Spence Encyc. Occult
    There is no doubt..that necromancy is the touch-stone of occultism...

Usage notes

Many different cultures have used necromancy. There is therefore much controversy as to how it is used. There are two clear divisions of necromancy however, that branch in which one consults directly with the corpse or spirit, and that branch wherein one takes the spirit within oneself, thereby using its knowledge (usually to glean the future).